Regarded as one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in all of America, San Francisco is the cultural and commercial heart of North California. With incredible landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz, the city is hugely popular with both domestic and international tourists, and one of the increasingly popular activities people are enjoying in the San Francisco area is kayaking.

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It might not be the first place one thinks of when considering top kayaking spots in the United States, but San Francisco, also famously known as The City by the Bay, is a real haven for water lovers. Paddlers and kayakers of any age can get out on the Bay and enjoy a myriad of super tours, with beautiful views and magical memories guaranteed on every expedition.

A whole host of kayaking companies have been set up in the San Francisco region in recent decades, with more and more options popping up on a regular basis. Whether you're looking for introductory lessons, advanced techniques, guided tours, or just plain old kayak rentals, there are lots of options open to you all around San Francisco. Experts and casual kayakers agree that there's no better way to enjoy this beautiful city than by water, so if you have even the slightest interest in kayaking, San Fran needs to be at your top of your 'to do list'.

The Best Kayaking Companies in San Francisco

There are plenty of great kayaking operators all around San Fran and the surrounding Bay Area, but if you really want to focus on the city itself, San Francisco Kayak and City Kayak are the top two companies to choose from. Be sure to look around and investigate other operators too if you’re heading further afield, as each company offers fully unique tours and experiences.

San Francisco Kayak is a specialist in small group tours around the Bay Area with sit-in kayaks for maximum comfort and the best experiences every time. Each tour starts off with an introductory safety lesson to make sure everyone is fully at ease with the watercraft. From there, the tour sets off around various areas, taking in major San Fran sights and monuments like McCovey Cove, Richardson Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, or even the famous AT&T Park baseball stadium. Tours are available at any time of day, with morning tours being the most relaxing, afternoon experiences offering a little more challenge due to the rising wind speeds, and evening tours being ideal for couples in search of a more intimate, romantic experience.

City Kayak also runs a bunch of different tours, suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced kayakers in need of a new challenge. Trips can be customized and are designed to offer the best experiences and most exciting sights and memories every time. Specialized trips are offered on special occasions like New Year's Eve or the 4th of July, and advanced routes are available over towards Alcatraz and Treasure Island. Iconic views and wonderful wildlife encounters await every visitor on these

The Top Kayaking Spots in San Francisco

There are so many beautiful spots all around San Francisco; it's hard to choose just one great kayaking location. If you're not sure where to start, many kayakers say that Sausalito is a great place to begin your San Francisco kayaking journey. Just north of San Fran, Sausalito offers remarkable views of iconic monuments like Golden Gate and Alcatraz, and kayak trips really let you see these incredible landmarks from an unparalleled perspective.

Oakland is another super kayaking spot in San Francisco, with a superb mixture of eco and urban views, from the green hills to the East and San Francisco's stunning skyline on the west. Impressive cargo ships are also regularly dotted all around and this is a great way to really get in touch with the beating heart of the city.

If you're just starting off with kayaking and looking for an easy and enjoyable journey, why not head to Half Moon Bay or McCovey Cove? The former offers wonderfully calm and tranquil waters for a peaceful paddling experience, while the latter is a surefire hit with sports fans, allowing kayakers to enjoy a Giants' baseball game from a totally unique angle. Every so often, a stray home run hit ends up in the drink and some locals actually head out on their kayaks during home games in the hopes of catching one of those famous balls.